05/17/12 10:06AM Australian Commodore V-8, Chevyy SS Performance, hot rods, Muscle Cars

Here Come the Aussies...The Commodore V-8

Here is a news release from Australia about an upcoming import to enhance the muscle car market in the USA

  • Commodore V8 gets US Chevrolet SS Performance badge
  • Star in heartland brand in Nascar stock car racing series
  • Dollar value of historic deal expected to be revealed today

HOLDEN will announce today an export program for the Commodore, which will see the Adelaide-made car become a race and showroom star in the US.

Though sales of the Elizabeth-produced sedan continue to slide in Australia, a Commodore V8 will be exported to America where it will be sold with the Chevrolet SS Performance badge.

In that guise, it would also star for the heartland brand in the Nascar stock car racing series, which runs second only to Formula One in global popularity.

Holden has been testing left-hand drive cars on public roads in Victoria in recent weeks and running it head-to-head with one of its strongest potential rivals, the Dodge Charger, as it finalises its end of the important new deal.

Motorsport sources in the US hint that an announcement of the Chevrolet SS program is imminent, including the Holden connection. The coming VF Commodore as the donor car for the program ticks the boxes for American muscle car fans, and Nascar stock car racing as well, thanks to its V8 engine, large body and rear-wheel drive.

The dollar value of this historic deal is expected to be announced today.

The Chevrolet connection is a revival of the major export deal that saw the Commodore sold in the US as the Pontiac G8 until the American brand was closed when General Motors was forced into bankruptcy during the global financial crisis.

This time around, numbers are likely to be much lower but the profile will be much higher thanks to the Nascar connection.

Former GM Holden president Mark Reuss, now the head of GM operations in the US and a known fan and supporter of the Commodore, was yesterday dodging Carsguide's questions on a link between the SS program and the Commodore.

Holden chairman Mike Devereux also refused to comment on the strengthening rumours in the US, which were triggered by the announcement.

It is the key to the deal, and the timing of all announcements, since Chevrolet has already confirmed that it will compete in the stock car series next year with an all-new model that is not currently in showrooms. It has also registered the SS Performance nameplate.

Full-scale testing of the racer is expected to begin soon, and the bodywork expected to be revealed at the same time.

“The smart money is betting on a civilian version of the V8-powered, rear-wheel drive Chevrolet Caprice PPV, which GM imports for police fleets from its Holden unit in Australia,” America’s Automotive News reporter Mark Colias told Carsguide.